Canada pleases its home crowd at the U21 Pan Am Cup

FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA :  Canada won its opener at the U21 Pan American Cup at the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre at Keyano College in Fort McMurray on Monday night.

Canada worked out the pressure of playing at home to beat Guatemala. The final score was 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-15).

Canada’s top scorers were Matthew Passalent of Hamilton, Ontario, and Eric Loeppky of Steinbach, Manitoba, who each contributed 15 points. Passalent’s serve was impressive with three aces.

“At the beginning we could see that our guys were tight and nervous. They didn’t know what to expect,” said Canada’s U21 head coach, Gino Brousseau. “Also it’s hard to play a team that is unpredictable and not as tall as our team. They take risks. But I am satisfied – we broke the ice and we will get better with each match.”

Canada’s Daenan Gyimah of Scarborough, who also plays for UCLA, finished off the night with an ace for match point in front of an appreciative home crowd.

Guatemala’s team put on a good effort against the bigger Canadians. Opposite Erik Flores led his team on the scoreboard with seven points.

“We knew Team Canada will be a more experienced and solid team than us. It’s just the first game, so I think we will get better during the week. We came here to improve and facing solid teams like Canada will help us,” said Guatemala’s coach, Reider Lucas.

It was a sweep for Cuba, Brazil and Canada today at the Pan Am Cup, with all three of these teams winning their matches 3-0.

May 16 (local time)
12:00  Cuba v Chile  3-0
18:00  Brazil v Barbados 3-0
20:00  Canada v Guatemala 3-0

May 17
16:00  Chile v Puerto Rico
18:00  Guatemala v Brazil
20:00  Canada v Barbados

May 18
16:00  Puerto Rico v Cuba
18:00  Barbados v Guatemala
20:00  Canada v Brazil

Finals rounds on May 19 to 21